Shin Splints

Shin Splints Treatment in Kansas City, MO


Shin splints are one of the most common injuries suffered by runners, dancers, and athletes and are almost exclusively the result of overuse. Shin splints refer to pain in the tibia or shin bone, the prominent bone at the front of your leg that’s extremely sensitive to impact or collision. The more active you are and the more stress you put on your legs, the more likely it is that you’ll have shin splints. 

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What Causes Shin Splints?

Shin splints happen due to your lower leg muscles and bones pulling and tugging where they insert into the tibia or shin bone. Because there are insertion points throughout your tibia, most people feel the effects in multiple areas of the shin. The result is swelling, inflammation, and pain in the affected parts of the shin bone. While most cases of shin splints are minor, they can turn into a tibial stress fracture or break if you leave it untreated.

Shin Splint Signs and Symptoms

The first and most apparent sign of shin splints is the searing pain you feel throughout your shin bone. You may notice tenderness and soreness on the inner side of your tibia, as well as swelling in the lower part of your leg. The pain caused by shin splints can range from mild to severe and will usually worsen with activity.

Who is Most at Risk for Getting Shin Splints?

While runners and dancers are at a higher risk of shin splints, they aren’t the only ones who are likely to suffer them.

Flat-Footed Individuals

If you are flat-footed, have high arches, or have very rigid arches, you are more at risk for shin splints because of the extra stress you put on your tibia.

Military members

Military members do a ton of walking, running, and working out, which puts them at higher risk.

Those with Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis and osteopenia cause your bones to weaken, putting you at higher risk.

People Who Don’t Wear the Right Shoes

If you do many walking or exercising and don’t have supportive footwear, shin splints are almost inevitable.

How Do I Prevent Shin Splints?

While shin splints are commonplace in today’s active world, they are mostly preventable. By wearing supportive shoes, maintaining a healthy weight, stretching and warming up before exercising, and not overdoing it, you can steer clear of painful shin splints.

Treatment for shin splints

Shin splints are avoidable and painful, but they aren’t usually considered major injuries. However, if you leave them untreated, they can turn into fractures or breaks of the tibia, so staying on top of them is important. Here are the treatment options for shin splints.

Rest

The first thing you should do is take a break and give your tibia time to heal.

Ice

Applying ice to your shins for 15 to 20 minutes at least four times a day is often enough to take care of your shin splints.

Pain Relievers

If the pain is bad enough, it might be necessary to take ibuprofen, Tylenol, or a similar over-the-counter medication.

Physical Therapy

Depending on the severity of your injury and the activity level you want to return to, physical therapy might also be necessary to recover from shin splints fully.

If you have pain or swelling in your legs and aren’t sure what’s causing it, give us a call at Ortho of KC. While it might be something as minor as shin splints, your condition could also be more serious. Either way, Ortho of KC is here to assist you in your recovery!

Shin Splints Doctors

If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, please contact Orthopedic Health of Kansas City and make an appointment with one of our Kansas City knee and leg specialists. They will perform a complete examination, diagnosing and ultimately treating any problem. From simple physical therapy to complicated surgery, you’re in good hands with Orthopedic Health of Kansas City and we will do what it takes to get you active again.